Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Year of the Horse(less)

Happy 2014, everyone! Sorry I dropped off the edge of the map last month; I hope you all had lovely holidays and good new years :) If you got an email from me that you were one of the giveaway winners and haven't received your prize yet, fear not! They are all completed and in the mail as of two days ago. Sorry for the late send-off, but the whirlwind of the holidays got the better of me.

(Ahh I had a marvelous fall in England, but it was great to be home on the farm again!)

I've sat down to blog quite a few times in the last few days, and have found myself continually at a loss for words. In many ways, I'm feeling in a bit of a funk now that 2013 is over. I had such a huge year last year, achieving almost all of the goals I set for myself and even completing some that I hadn't had the guts to write down last January. I've never ridden better, showed better, or gotten anywhere near the results I got last season. It was a huge, blockbuster year.

(We even had this ridiculous photo shoot to celebrate my showing career - these ribbons were from way more than just the last season, but it was really fun to get them all out and take a minute to remember all the good memories I've had in the horse world)

And yet over Christmas, I got the wonderful news that Ringo has sold, and has found a fabulous and loving new home, which meant that I enter 2014, the Year of the Horse... horseless. Huh. What a weird and empty feeling.

(So long, friend! Fortunately I actually already know his new owners very well, know what amazing care they will give him, and--best of all--I'll still get to see him as they're going to board him at my house! Hooray! I can't wait to see them excel together!)

Of course, the reason I'm horseless is because I'm pursuing an amazing academic opportunity that I couldn't be happier to be undertaking, so it's hardly the worst news. But being home for the holidays and reminiscing over the successes of the year made looking forward to 2014 feel a little scary and hollow.

This is the first year in over a decade where I won't have riding goals. I've been struggling to come up with other goals without the context of horses to place them in. In past years, even my non-horsey dreams have been couched in the knowledge that my life was going to be revolving largely around riding. Now... I don't now. It's a freeing feeling, but also an uncomfortable one. For whatever reason it feels a lot more real now than it did back in October when I made my first trip to the UK, still awash with the glow of how well the end of Ringo's and my season had gone.

But, in the spirit of moving forward, here are some goals anyway, lame as they might be. In 2014, I aim to...

-Have a great first year of grad school, and set myself up for a meaningful dissertation with a summer of focused academic research-

-Keep making pictures with my film camera, even when it feels hard, even when it feels pointless-

-Read the Bible-

-Eat like an athlete and take the time to actually cook and prepare meals that will help me feel energized and strong-

-Resist the temptation to eat the ENTIRE contents of the Pembroke MCR biscuit tin every time I go-

-Apply to PhD programs-

-Apply for a Fulbright Grant-

-Keep rowing-

So happy 2014, all! 

 (Also, got to ride the Dude over Christmas. It was a good, good day!)


L.Williams said...

Rowing is a great substitute for riding. I know I did. :) I'll keep reading even if the blog isn't as horsie.

Elena said...

Your home home is a beautiful place. I am also enjoying the blog even while it is non-horsey.

I mentioned this on Instagram but it looks like I will be spending a month in England in May and will probably be visiting Oxford once or twice...

T Myers said...

Congrats on the sale of Ringo - so happy he will stay on your farm. Good luck with your studies and rowing this year!

Hannah said...

Change is awfully weird. But usually worth the trouble. I look forward to seeing what happens next. :)

Newsed6 said...

I received my horsey print from you today. Thank you so much! On my wall it goes once it is framed. It is wonderful!

I love your blog. I am a recent reader and will go back to the beginning and read forward as time in my life allows. Thanks for being so prolific a writer, and for sharing your adventures in England.

rolypolypony said...

Huzzah for Ringo! That's great news for everyone :)

Very much looking fwd to getting the horsey print in the mail! Maybe today? :)

Happy New Year!

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